Pubdate: Sat, 28 Feb 2015
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2015 The Denver Post Corp
Author: Steve Raabe


On the heels of Jamaica decriminalizing marijuana, Denver-based 
United Cannabis Corp. is proposing to create a "Ganja Cooperative" to 
help Jamaican farmers grow pot.

Marijuana is a cultural icon of the Caribbean island, and farmers 
have been growing it-successfully-for decades. But under the United 
Cannabis proposal, growers will have access to high-tech genetics and 
training in cultivation practices to produce standardized crops.

Jamaica's Parliament earlier this week passed a law decriminalizing 
the possession of small amounts of cannabis - known colloquially in 
Jamaica as ganja - and establishing a licensing agency to regulate a 
medical marijuana industry.

The law also allows adherents of the Rastafari spiritual movement to 
freely use marijuana for sacramental purposes.

Immediately following passage of the law Tuesday, United Cannabis 
announced that it had entered into a business partnership with a 
Jamaican biotechnology firm and the nation's government-sponsored 
Scientific Research Council.

Publicly traded United Cannabis last year filed for draft patents on 
proprietary ratios of cannabinoids - the chemical compounds in 
marijuana-to treat cancer and nervous- and immune-system disorders.

The patents would give the company 12 months to prove that its 
combinations of cannabinoids deliver a medical benefit.

"I see the effects our ... products have on patients every day, and 
it's not just therapeutic; it impacts their entire lives," said Tony 
Verzura, chief technical officer of United Cannabis. "The opportunity 
to verify the anecdotal evidence through the clinical process is the 
moment of truth. This ( Jamaican) partnership will enable us to 
provide the medical community and policymakers with clinical data to 
substantiate those results."

United Cannabis last year became a 50 percent stakeholder in the 
newly created, Jamaica-based Cannabinoid Research & Development Co. Ltd.

The enterprise's mission is to "help restore the purity of ( Jamaican 
marijuana) strains and standardize the breeding process."

United Cannabis recently said it will team with Native American 
tribes in California to grow and manufacture medical marijuana products.

Shares of United Cannabis closed Friday at $ 1.42, down 6 cents. The 
stock had traded as high as $ 10.50 a share last April.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom